Sushi of Gari Rating: 6.75
So we went to Sushi of Gari last night – the OG one, not some west side BS. (JK we know that one is good too, chill commenters.) Gari is basically an Upper East Side staple and would've gotten a way better score if not for the service which can only be described as a joke, and not a funny one. Because while I don't mind leisurely two and a half hour dinners, I most definitely do mind when most of that time is spent wondering where the sake refill is. No arigato.
Pretty standard Japanese restaurant with not a lot of decor, small wooden tables that are pretty cramped together, and kind of bright lighting. Good luck with not hearing the entire conversation of the people sitting next to you.
The Real Housewives of NYC. Young couples in their 30s and early 40s (who obvs don't bring their kids with them, obvo). Bankers. Chic groups of ladies-who-lunch types who gather for dinner to talk about how badly they want to try ecstasy. No really, they were sitting behind us.
How do you say THE WORST THING FUCKING EVER in Japanese? There was like one waitress working a bajillion tables and she was so busy I almost felt bad. But not as bad as I did about the fact that we had to ask for literally everything (spicy mayo, ginger, sake) a hundred fucking times before receiving it. The messed up part is that if she had just brought us the sake, we probably would've forgotten about everything else she wasn't bringing.
Instagram friendly? Oh yes. Go crazy.
Is there a chance you'll run into a celebrity? Katie Couric, Fred Armisen (according to Wikipedia he said he “doesn't want anyone to know about it”), Ramona Singer types
Shoe situation: Heels or flats depending on what you're doing after. But look chic. You might see someone you know.
Good for: Date with your boyfriend, dinner with besties, making your parents pay for dinner, getting omakase so you can feed your foodie image (no pun intended)
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
You can either order from the standard menu or you can do omakase which is $100 per person. The omakase is different depending on the day and whatever the chef feels like making, so we can't
guarantee gari-ntee that the same things will be available when you go. But that's kind of the whole point.
Haguro Avocado – This was basically just tuna cubes and avocado chunks in a bowl on top of lettuce, which they gave an interesting name and description to make you think you're getting more than a dish you could make for yourself with absolutely zero sushi chef training.
Nasu Shigiyaki – Aka grilled deep-fried eggplant with sweet miso sauce on top. Don't ask me how something can be both grilled and deep-friend but this was very good, though the sauce is a little overwhelming if you don't take a little bit off.
Yasai Gyoza – Aka vegetable gyoza. Not the best gyoza I've ever had because they were slightly oily and not really crispy at all. I think the lesson learned is that Gari is really good at authentic sushi and not that good at standard Japanese dishes. So if you're not a sushi purist, you might as well go to the place with a lame American name like “Blue Asian.”
PS. They charge you for spicy mayo (which isn't even that spicy) but it's TOTALLY OKAY because it has tobiko in it which is some next level shit.
Medium fatty tuna with daikon radish – The tuna was so great we have assume it was marinated for dayzzz. And the radish gave it a lot of flavor. SUPA FRESH.
Seared salmon belly – The salmon was really soft but I wished this was a little saltier.
Uni with wasabi soy sauce – It may look like a blob in the above pic but it is so much more than that. No other words besides really faaaaacking good and my absolute fav. The sauce was unreal and I wanted to put it all over everything like Miss Lippy at lunchtime.
Fluke with egg in truffle oil – The rice plus the truffle oil made this dish what it was. They should just serve this as a dish but then again, that's not exactly artisanal-chic.
Tuna with tofu sauce – Don't really like tofu but will make an exception for this. The tofu sauce tasted more like whipped sour cream than a vegan faux-food.
Salmon with tomato and onion sauce – This reminded me of a bagel. Maybe Black Seed will do a version.
402 East 78th Street, New York, NY